Working in Dr. Cranley’s laboratory, scientist Jack Griffin was always given the latitude to conduct some of his own experiments. His sudden departure, however, has Cranley’s daughter Flora worried about him. Griffin has taken a room at the nearby Lion’s Head Inn, hoping to reverse an experiment he conducted on himself that made him invisible. Unfortunately, the drug he used has also warped his mind, making him aggressive and dangerous. He’s prepared to do whatever it takes to restore his appearance, and several will die in the process.
garykmcd / edited by statmanjeff
User Reviews: James Whale is, for good reason, most famous for his Frankenstein films. However, better than both (albeit marginally) is this film – The Invisible Man. When I first saw this, I couldn’t believe that it’s over seventy years old and upon a second viewing; the film just gets better and better. Considering the time in which it was made, The Invisible Man is one of the most amazing films of all time. The special effects are what really make the film. CGI has pretty much spoilt this sort of reaction to a movie. The Invisible Man really has that ‘how did they do it?’ feel, which movie audiences of yesteryear so often enjoyed, and it’s done such a good job with it that I’m still wondering today. The plot gives way to lots of trickery and visual magic as it follows a mad scientist who has turned himself invisible. However, things aren’t so simple because one of the drugs he used has properties that can turn a man insane; and this side of the drug has had a huge effect on our man. Believing he can take over the world, he recruits the help of one of his fellow scientists and sets about a reign of invisible terror.
You would think that it would be hard to convince an audience that one of your characters is invisible; but Whale makes it look easy! Claude Rains spends much of the film either under the cover of bandages or not even in it, but it doesn’t matter because it’s not him but his voice that makes the performance. The fiendishness of his voice is compelling and pure evil, and I don’t believe that there is a better man in existence for this role. There isn’t a lot of physical acting for him to do, but this is made up for with a dazzling array of special effects. We get to see a shirt move on it’s own, things fly around rooms and havoc is caused. It really shows Whale’s genius to pull this off. Whale is best known as a horror director, but it’s obvious that he has a great respect for comedy also as his Frankenstein films were very tongue-in-cheek, and so is this film. The scenes that see the invisible man causing mayhem are hilarious, and will delight anyone who sees the film. Whale’s ability to entertain is absolute, and that is why the films he made for the studio were always the biggest successes. The Invisible Man is one of the greatest achievements in cinema history, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong!